Cooking a nutrient-packed, tasty meal for your child can be trying at the best of times, and the food you DO end up making often winds up more so on the floor than in their mouths, with a much smaller amount seeming to actually reach their stomachs. You spend so much time, effort and money on whipping up trendy little bites for your bub to eat, then cry as you scrape it all into the bin or stuff it into your mouth cold since "someone might as well eat it".
If you need some help finding easy, simple yet nutritious recipes for your little one, look no further! Paediatric Dietitian Leah (Instagram: @kids.nutritionist) specialises in picky eating and baby-led weaning and has some wonderful recipes to satisfy even the fussiest of feeders! These recipes are kind to both your little one's tummy and your wallet - made with nutritious ingredients that are quick to prepare and store well in the fridge or freezer. First up in this series of tasty meals for tiny tots is:
High Iron Red Lentil and White Bean Stew
Cooking time: 15 mins
1 cup red lentils
2 cups no-added-salt chicken bone broth or no-added-salt vegetable broth*
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 can (280ml) diced tomatoes (low sodium or no added salt)
½ cup of low-sodium canned navy beans (white beans)
1 tsp parsley
1 teaspoon oregano or dried chives
Pepper to taste
*You can substitute water for broth, but it will change nutrient amounts and will not have as much flavour.
- Rinse red lentils until water is clear.
- In a large saucepan, add red lentils, garlic powder, onion powder, broth (or water), diced tomatoes (not drained), and navy beans. Bring to a boil on high heat. If you are using add-ins such as herbs or spices, you can add them during this step.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Stir at the five-minute mark to ensure it isn’t sticking to the bottom. At this point, if the stew is looking “dry” and the moisture has been absorbed, but the lentils are still hard, add another ½ cup of liquid (either broth or water).
- After the stew has cooked for around 12 minutes, some of the lentils will still be whole, and some will be mashed - that’s okay!
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
*Note: If you cannot find no-added-salt bone broth, opt for low-sodium if available, as the recommendation is to offer low-sodium foods for the first year of baby’s life. This recipe does contain some sodium due to the canned beans, however, it is generally considered low-sodium. Adults may want to add salt to their own portions if they prefer.
Servings: Makes approximately four cups of lentil stew depending on the red lentil yield.
Storage: Good in the refrigerator for up to three days. Alternatively, this will last in the Haakaa Baby Food and Breast Milk Freezer Tray in the freezer for three months.
Suitable from: Six months +
How to offer:
- When you serve to a baby six months or older, try to mash some of the white beans with a fork.
- You can offer it on a spoon and responsively spoon-feed.
- You can spread on a piece of lightly toasted bread that is cut into finger-length strips.
Per 4 ounce (120ml) Haakaa Glass Jar:
Total fat: 0.1g
Dietary fibre: 2g
Sugar: (naturally occurring in carbohydrates): 0.5g
Added sugars: 0g
Vitamin A: 11mcg RAE
Vitamin C: 2.5mg